Geraldton Buccaneers for gold standard against Giants this weekend

Jake Santa MariaGeraldton Guardian
The Geraldton Buccanneers are back on the road in an all-country clash this weekend.
Camera IconThe Geraldton Buccanneers are back on the road in an all-country clash this weekend. Credit: Arctic_Moon_Photography

After three big wins at home the Geraldton Buccanneers are back on the road in an all-country clash as they prepare to take on the Goldfield Giants this long weekend.

The Buccs have come out of their home stretch and embedded into the top four with wins against the second-placed Willeton Tigers, fourth-placed Rockingham Flames and Lakeside Lightning keeping them unbeaten at home this season.

However, their form on the road has been a mixed bag with three losses and two wins with all three losses coming against fellow finals contenders.

Coach Dayle Joseph said away games were always tricky with the travel involved but was confident with more games under the belt the Buccs could find better consistency on the road.

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“Obviously, the travel can be a bit of an issue, sitting on a bus for four or five hours, and then hanging around a hotel, then going to play is a lot different to being at home in our environment, for sure,” he said.

“I don’t look too much into it especially being early in the season as well when I think we were still getting things together a bit.”

At least this week they will not have to worry about playing a double away-game fixture and will fly out to Kalgoorlie cutting down the travel time.

But that doesn’t make the Giants challenge any less daunting as they are up and about after upsetting the ladder-leading Hawks last round.

“We’re looking into what they produced against Perry Lakes and they bare a pretty strong unit, both offensively and defensively,” Joseph said.

“I think we’re still improving, there were some lapses on the weekend but overall, I think we’re improving.

“We’re still tweaking a few things each week as we go along, we’ll add a few things to our game and see if we can catch the Giants a bit unawares.”

The key match-up for the weekend could be how the Buccs handle US import Michael Dupree, averaging more than 21 points a game.

“I think we’ll match up OK. . . Fletcher (Klasztorny) has shown his defensive prowess recently and we get Zach back who’s probably missed two weeks. . . after not really playing much on the weekend, so he’s looking forward to having a big game as well and get back in the swing of things.”

One key out will be Liam Hunt who will be travelling to the US to attend his brother’s wedding and will be out for several weeks.

“He’s a big loss but we’ll share his role around, but we’ve got Matt Wundenberg who we’ve been nursing a bit in anticipation of this as well as Aaron Ralph and Ryan Blanchett who can play that big man role,” Joseph said.

“I’ve got good faith in all those guys and looking around William Galvin has played that role for us in the past so I’m looking forward to seeing how those guys step up.”

The Buccs will tip off against the Giants on June 4 at 4pm at Niels Hansen Basketball Stadium.

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